Band: Arsenic Unbirthday

CD Title: Ravens and Writing Desks

Website: www.epictronic.com/production/rock/arsenic-unbirthday

Label: Epictronic Music (2016)

Rating: Satisfying 3/5


A quick read of the bandís Facebook bio and you come away feeling this is a quartet that clearly loves to live in the world of their own creation. While they label themselves a ďpost dark alternative poisonous rockĒ band Iíd be more inclined to describe their music as Gothic influenced Art-Rock. There is indeed a kind of dark and doomy feel to the bandís sound but itís far from overpowering and in fact there are many times where it disappears entirely making room for an almost upbeat vibe. So you have this musical contrast, a kind of push and pull that makes for some interesting compositions. These six tunes all fall in the four or five minute range and they are constructed to allow for a variety of proggy embellishments. The bandís influences range from Porcupine Tree to Peter Gabriel and yet their sound is distinctly their own. Featuring a female vocalist they manage to evade the musical trap of being just another prog metal sound alike. While the sound does get a bit heavy in spots itís embellished with some interesting electronics and sound effects. They make a big sound with both major and minor triads wrapped around some nice melodies. Almost every song offers up little surprises in changing directions or textures even so far as blending soft piano and spacey electronics. Itís an intriguing contrast of moods and textures. Arsenic Unbirthday are a new-ish band but they demonstrate a lot of musical ability and seem to be able to write some very clever songs. I will certainly be keeping an eye on the bandís future releases.